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GTA Paid For Original Game To Receive Negative Reviews

GTA, Rockstar Games’ most popular game series, is one of the best games you may ever play, but did you realise that the firm paid for unfavourable press?

The titles, particularly GTA V, are among the most profitable in video game history, with GTA V still regularly appearing on weekly sales rankings years after its release.

Even the most ardent GTA fans may be unaware that at the launch of the original game, Rockstar Games allegedly paid people to leave bad reviews in order to boost the game’s visibility.

Rockstar, then known as DMA Design, hired Max Clifford, a well-known public relations expert, to help them build up the buzz around the game’s release.

GTA made headlines across the UK, and it was even brought up in the House of Lords by MPs concerned about the game’s violent and criminal elements. This was all Clifford’s idea, according to the team behind the title.

GTA co-creator David Jones said in a 2012 interview with The Times: “[Clifford] told us how he would play it, who he would target, what those people targeted would say.”

The goal was to incite moral outrage among parents, legislators, and activist groups in particular, in order to keep the game in the public eye.

GTA creator Mike Dailly added: “Max Clifford made it all happen. He designed all the outcry, which pretty much guaranteed MPs would get involved.”

Although there were plenty of fearful people who believed GTA was the product of Satan, the controversial advertising worked, and the game went on to sell over 3 million copies.
Since evolving into the Rockstar Titles we know and love today, its games no longer rely on controversy to sell copies. Rockstar, we adore you.